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EPA Extends Public Comment Period on New Information in Final Human Health Risk Assessment for GE Pittsfield / Housatonic River Site

Release Date: 03/02/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Angela Bonarrigo, EPA Community Affairs Office, (617) 918-1034,

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2004; Release # ab050302

Boston – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a 15-day extension to the public comment period for the revised Human Health Risk Assessment for the GE-Pittsfield / Housatonic River Site. EPA will now accept public comment on the new information contained in the revised Human Health Risk Assessment through Apr. 5th. The public comment period opened on Feb. 18th.

The area evaluated in the assessment, known as the “Rest of River,” generally refers to the Housatonic River, its sediments and floodplain areas from the confluence of the East and West Branches in Pittsfield, downstream into Connecticut. The assessment is one in a series of reports being prepared by EPA as part of the Consent Decree entered into four years ago by General Electric, EPA and other government agencies.

The revisions to the Human Health Risk Assessment follow EPA’s Responsiveness Summary which addressed the written comments from the independent Peer Review Panel. The panel reviewed the draft assessment and comments provided to them by General Electric and other members of the community.

During the current comment period, the public is requested to comment on only the new information contained in the risk assessment regarding risks to adults and children who are exposed to PCBs and other contaminants while living or working near the Housatonic River, or using the river and floodplain for recreation or agricultural purposes.

Comments should be postmarked no later than Apr. 5th and sent to:

      Susan Svirsky
      Rest of River Project Manager
      c/o Weston Solutions
      10 Lyman Street
      Pittsfield MA 01201

      re: HHRA Comments
      Comments can also be sent via email to:
      or via fax to: 413-442-4447

A list of the new information, the revised Risk Assessment, and the “Responsiveness Summary,” which contains the agency’s response to comments raised by the panel members, can be reviewed at the following locations:
    • Berkshire Athenaeum Public Library Reference Depart., 1 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield MA
    • Simons Rock College of Bard Library, 84 Alford Rd., Great Barrington MA
    • Cornwall Public Library, Pine St., Cornwall CT
    • Kent Memorial Library (Kent Library Association), 32 North Main St., Kent CT
    • Housatonic Valley Association, Cornwall Bridge CT
    • EPA Records Center, One Congress St., Suite 1100, Boston MA
    • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, 436 Dwight St., Suite 500, Springfield MA
    • Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 79 Elm St., Hartford CT
In addition, the revised Human Health Risk Assessment is available on EPA’s website under “Current Public Comment Periods.”

Related Information:
GE/Housatonic River Web site